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Atiku: “To those who think they’ve broken my spirit, I’m sorry to disappoint you”
 Atiku Abubakar says his spirit is not broken [Twitter/@bolanle cole]
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, says he's not about to give up on Nigeria after the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal on Wednesday, October 30.

The verdict means Atiku won't be Nigeria's president any time soon.

Atiku, who had challenged the outcome of the 2019 presidential election in which incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared winner, lamented that the judiciary has been sabotaged “like every estate of our realm” by a cabal.

A seven-man panel of the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by Atiku on the grounds that it lacked merit.
Not a broken spirit

In his reaction to the verdict, the former vice-president said “the Nigerian judiciary, just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the Peoples Democratic Party and its administrations nurtured for sixteen years, up until 2015.

“Can Nigeria continue like this? Recently, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, averred that Nigeria had rolled back the democratic gains she made in 2015. When democracy is rolled back, the economy, the society and the judiciary will not be far behind.

“Today, the nail has been put on the coffin and the gains we collectively made since 1999 are evaporating, and a requiem is at hand.”

Atiku accepted that the Supreme Court verdict sounds a death knell on his quest to overturn the result of the 2019 election. “I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take, as a democrat, has come to a conclusion,” he said. “Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide.”

Atiku added that a democracy should constitute a strong judiciary, a free press and an impartial electoral umpire. “Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today.
Buhari and Atiku were the major contenders of the 2019 presidential election (Punch)

“I will keep on fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice.

“To those who think they have broken my spirit, I am sorry to disappoint you.

“I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury twenty years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?

“This is not a time for too many words. It will suffice for me to remind Nigeria of this – we are an independent nation and we are the architects of our fate. If we do not build a free Nigeria, we may end up destroying her, and God forbid that that should be the case.”

In his reaction to the verdict, President Buhari said it's time for Nigeria to move on. “Now, following this final legal bid before the highest court, it is time the country is afforded the right to move on – in the interest of all Nigerians – regardless of how they voted,” Buhari said in a statement.

Atiku has contested the presidency since 1992.

2019 was his 5th attempt at party primary and national levels.

Every presidential election result has been contested in court since Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999, with the exception of the 2015 vote in which Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Buhari.

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